Eden

The first time we went hungry
Early in the morning
We dared ourselves to do it
Anticipating anger
We crept downstairs
And unlocked the back door
Standing on a chair to reach
Our guilty secret
Forbidden knowledge buzzing
In our childish brains
My sister was always the first to find
Where mum kept the key
Grumbles of rumbling tummies
Drove us over the dew
Chilly on our bare feet
Toward the wall
Where brambles grew
But all we found there to feed on
Were thorns
We searched in the pot
Which in summer held strawberries
Stepping carefully to keep
From squashing the snails
On their slimy journeys
But though the eggy flowers
With their yellow-white faces
Nodded at our eager fingers
Their greeting bore no fruit
Next year, I said to my sister
I shall plant a carrot tree
Planning our menu
We rummaged in the greenhouse
For something to snack on
Old sunflower seeds
Dandelion leaves from the lawn
But the rabbit had been there before us
And climb as we might
Even the sour cherry tree from next-door
Had buried all of its fruit in the ground
Hoping for an early spring
Until our secret garden
Was ashamed to see
Its children shiver
In the empty-bellied dawn

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